Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (6-2) are preparing to enter palatial and historic O.co stadium Sunday afternoon to take on the Los Angeles Oakland Raiders (4-4). To get some insight on the opposition, we welcomed in Asher Mathews (@AsherMathews) of Thoughts From the Dark Side Raiders blog to talk a little Silver and Black.

We talked about the Derek Carr-vs-Teddy Bridgewater debate, how our former boy Bill “3×5” Musgrave is doing things in Oakland, why the Zimmer Hellfire Defense™ vs said offense is the key to Sunday’s matchup, how the Raiders defense can get got by Teddy and the Vikings, and I demand gratitude from Asher as we saved his franchise from the stank of Troy Williamson (because you know Al Davis would’ve loved that speed).

All that and other “Vikings Fans are Sadomasochists!” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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(photo courtesy of vikings.com)

Adam: Linval Joseph, DT
This one is easy, to me. It doesn’t matter if you are his teammate or his opponent. There are no excuses about injuries to the guy next to him. There is no matchup too tough. Analytical types are every bit as high on him as a casual observer. He is disruptive, impacting both the run and the pass, and his impact has been as consistent as anybody on this defense… and there are plenty of consistent producers on this defense. Mid-season? I say Joseph is the clearest Pro Bowler on this team, without a doubt.

Brent: Anthony Barr, LB
Trying to stray from the pack here a little bit as the obvious answer is Harrison Smith, and rightfully so. Smith has been dominant in 2015, and I believe should be in consideration as the best safety in the league. That said, Barr plays a massive role in the Vikings defense and goes into Sunday’s game as the 3rd-highest-rated linebacker by PFF standards. Looking at Barr statistically, you note that he is second on the team in tackles, has a fumble recovery, 1.5 sacks and an INT. Not bad for a second-year linebacker some feared would be slow to adapt to the NFL level. What isn’t noted in Barr’s stats is his role he plays bringing pressure on the ‘A’ gap that has become so popular in Mike Zimmer’s defense. He might not always blitz, but his presence is enough for quarterbacks to be ever aware of where No. 55 is.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are 6-2 at the midway point of the 2015 campaign. It’s a hellagood start so let’s celebrate by handing out some hellabad fake mid-season awards!

The Categories Are….
• Best Offensive Lineman
• Best Rookie
• TJ Maxx Best Value
• Best Zimmer-ism
• Best Offensive Player
• Best Defensive Player
• Best Comparison of a Vikings Player to a Food Item
• Best Special Teams Player
• Best Injured Linebacker
• Most Underrated Viking
• Most Overrated Viking
• Best Game So Far
• Best Vikings Podcast….

We also pay tribute to the recently departed, and former love of my life, Chase Ford. #RIP #ItsAllAboutTheU

All that and other “Bradley Cooper should replace Sendejo” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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(image courtesy of Vikings.com)

Head coach Mike Zimmer announced Wednesday that cornerback Josh Robinson will be activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Robinson missed the first half of the 2015 season due to a pectoral injury suffered in June. He returned to practice about three weeks ago; according to Chris Tomasson, the Vikings had until Wednesday to make a decision on Robinson. Had the team not activated the cornerback, NFL rules dictate he would have remained on PUP for the remainder of the season.

Drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Robinson is in his fourth year with the Vikings. Robinson started five games for Minnesota during the 2014 season. Overall on the year, he recorded 41 tackles (39 solo) and three interceptions.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

First round picks like Trae Waynes, who was selected 11th-overall in this year’s NFL Draft, are supposed to inspire confidence when they first step foot on the field. They’re college football’s best players, and many rookies have gone on to find instant success in the NFL. Teddy Bridgewater, Odell Beckham Jr., and Todd Gurley are just a few of the league’s most recent rising stars.

For Waynes, though, the transition hasn’t been quite as smooth. His first game action, a preseason matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers in August, highlighted everything that worried analysts before the draft. Grabbiness, struggles in zone coverage, and poor short-area quickness were on full display, and it became clear that Waynes wouldn’t be an instant success in Mike Zimmer’s secondary.

Zimmer spent much of training camp mentoring and guiding Waynes, working hard to eradicate bad college habits. He’s played sparingly this season, but Waynes continues to look more and more comfortable when called upon. On Sunday, he played a career-high 31 snaps after Terence Newman’s concussion forced the veteran out of the game, and Waynes looked solid in relief.

He was targeted four times, allowing two catches for eight yards. Patience appears to be paying off for Zimmer and Waynes. Though he was flagged for defensive pass interference (a ticky-tacky call) late in the game, Waynes doesn’t look like a deer-in-the-headlights on the field. He’s building on his strong debut against the Chargers and may slowly be earning the trust of Zimmer. With Terence Newman’s recent struggles  and questionable status for Week 10, is it time to throw Waynes into a starting role?

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